monumental tech box celebrating the victory of the machine over
the human spirit: the new Seattle public library by Rem Koolhaas.
The architect's claim-to-fame is complete abject surrender to the
zeitgeist, in this case the (erroneous) belief that mankind is marching
off into an evermore deliriously wonderful high tech future -- when,
actually, the opposite is about to happen. These houses of tech
worship will be as mystifying to future generations as the pyramids
The gigantic signage is necessary because otherwise
library patrons might think they had mistakenly stumbled into the
receiving department of a US Army ordnance installation or the basement
of a commercial laundry.
Koolhaas has named
this top floor salon "the living room," an interesing
confusion of typology. Guess what? This is not your home. This is
a place of public assembly. But guess what also? There's only enough
furniture for five people to sit down. It's not a reading room (no
chairs and tables). It's not a lecture room (slanted atrium ceiling
can't be darkened.) What the fuck is it?